In a letter to the editor, Jersey City resident Trevor Batchelder says that “Ward C deserves compassionate and progressive leadership” and should therefore vote for Kevin Bing.
During the debate around the Jersey City obscenity law in 2018, Ward C councilperson Richard Boggiano made a post from his Facebook profile that was widely denounced as being homophobic and transphobic.
This story was covered in a Jersey Journal article in 2018.
The article quoted a statement from Michael Billy, CEO of the Hudson Pride Center at the time, who called the post “transphobic, homophobic and misogynistic, a stark reminder of the work still left for us to achieve.” That statement also pressured Rich Boggiano for an apology – one that never came.
In addition to never apologizing, Councilperson Boggiano was flippant after his social media team removed the post on his behalf after public pressure: “They said, ‘take it off,’” Boggiano told The Jersey Journal. “I said, ‘do what you want.’”
If our elected officials are able to make such offensive public statements with impunity, what kind of example does that set for others?
Now, three-and-a half years later, Rich’s son still finds the offensive post funny.
On Monday, Michael Maddalena posted a screenshot of Councilperson Boggiano’s now-deleted post in the public JC Ward C group on Facebook.
Councilperson Boggiano’s son, Chris Boggiano responded to the comment with a laughing emoji reaction. When I asked him what was so funny about transphobia and homophobia, I received no response.
It is an open secret that Councilperson Boggiano’s children are heavily involved in running his re-election campaign. The councilperson repeatedly directed press inquiries to his daughter, Katrina Boggiano, and has even hung up on the Jersey Journal twice.
Rich Boggiano’s son, Chris Boggiano, has evidently been tasked with maintaining the campaign’s social media presence, such as when he posted a Reddit thread trying to make his father’s case for re-election.
While Katrina and Chris may have the best of intentions, but instead of reining in his most extreme policy positions, they appear to spend more time defending them.
For example: In that Reddit thread, Chris Boggiano defended his father saying “All Lives Matter” during a Q&A with the Journal Square Community Association last June.
Additionally, he responded to Ward C constituents who voiced had been unable to get in touch with their councilperson by accusing them of using the wrong phone number.
That type of poor judgment and excuse-making is congruent with Rich Boggiano’s own policies and public statements.
I know that the Jersey City Ward C run-off election is about a multitude of issues impacting the community: housing the homeless, improving mass transit, providing more green space, getting litter out of our streets, reducing traffic deaths – the list goes on.
However, as a gay man, this election is also personal.
This election is also about having someone in the Ward C councilperson’s seat who will treat me and other members of Jersey City’s diverse community with a baseline level of respect for our humanity.
I have no confidence at all in Rich Boggiano to continue to serve as my representative on the city council. Rich’s inaction (and at times, actions) over his past 8 years in office have demonstrated that he is completely unfit for office.
I am enthusiastically supporting Kevin Bing in the run-off election.
Kevin is an intelligent and devoted progressive running a community-led campaign. However, having had the opportunity to get to know him personally these last few months, the thing I admire most about Kevin is his compassion.
Ward C deserves compassionate and progressive leadership. Kevin Bing is that leader, and we need to elect him on December 7th.
Jersey City Ward C resident